Sometimes people wonder why we psychologists and psychotherapists want people to take about their feelings rather than just ignore them. The simple reason is that we psychologists and psychotherapists want people to have healthy emotional lives. Having access to a rich emotional experience is often a sign good mental health. This does not mean that your emotions are all over the place but, that you are able to have access to your emotions and express them as appropriate. It helps make you a better friend, lover, spouse, parent and even co-worker. Some people try to ignore and even deny their emotional experience and this means that emotions can come out in other less acceptable and even troubling ways, such as taking your anger about something at work on your partner and/or children. Some people deny their emotions so much and become so cut off from their feelings that they become almost emotionally numb and a bit like robots. This often makes it hard for others to get close to them and consequently these people can have impoverished relationships with others. The reasons for ignoring, repressing, numbing out, and citing off emotions can be many but, often it comes from how we learned to cope with our feeling when we were very young. In some cases parents or significant care givers may not have been responsive to our needs and may not have allowed emotional experience in us as children. In other cases parents or care givers may not have done anything wrong and may have just been overwhelmed by events in their own lives at the time when we were young and may not have been able to even take care of their own emotional needs. In some cases we may have been exposed to significant traumatic events as children or even later and this can have significant consequences for our emotional lives and wellbeing. Whatever the case, psychotherapy can be a good opportunity to reclaim our emotions and get healthy. Our emotions can often give us clues as to what our needs are. The trick then is to find healthy ways to get our needs met and connect better with others and ultimately ourselves.
The following video shows how it is important to pay attention to our emotions.